Jun 14, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) watches his home run during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Great American Ball Park. Photo by Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Cincinnati Reds Offseason: A Different Approach.

This was an offseason idea that I wrote in early December, but never really published, on how the Reds could handle their offseason. It’s not the most realistic plan in the world, but it really isn’t that far out there either. Obviously, the Reds went a different direction than I wrote about (as predicted) when they re-signed Ryan Ludwick and traded for Shin-Soo Choo. The Reds now look primed to contend for the World Series. The main reason that I wanted to post this is mostly for novelty, although I don’t think it’s all that bad of an idea. Please keep in mind that I’m not an MLB General Manager.

To start this plan, I assumed that the Reds had about 5 million dollars to spend after taking into account arbitration raises. When you consider Choo’s salary (minus the money that Cleveland sent, of course), and the salaries of the other players that the Reds acquired or signed (this was written after the Broxton signing), that may have been a little low. It looks like Castellini was willing to open his pocketbook more so than I had anticipated. So, I suppose this is an ultra-budget friendly (for 2013 anyhow) plan. Also keep in mind that this is before I knew arbitration salaries, so I took a reasonable guess. It turns out they were pretty close.

August 24, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) hits a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.Photo by Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Move #1:
REDS TRADE- RF Jay Bruce (-7.50m), SP Mike Leake (-2.50m), CF Billy Hamilton, and SP Kyle Lotzkar.
MARLINS TRADE- RF Giancarlo Stanton(+500k) and RP Steve Cishek (+500k)

Trading Billy Hamilton, obviously, would be a controversial move, as would be trading Jay Bruce. However, we have to consider what Stanton brings to the table. He’s only 23 years old, and is one of the best power hitters in baseball (while hitting in one of the MLB’s toughest power parks.) He also plays excellent defense and hits for a decent average. Not to mention, he is cheap and controllable. He is a four tool player. The Reds would also receive a great reliever in Steve Cishek, who really would push the Reds’ bullpen over the top.

New spending room: ~13 million.

Move #2:

REDS SIGN- CF Cody Ross, 3 years and 22 million (+7.3 million.)

Seeing as Ross signed with the D’Backs for 3 years and 26 million, I was a little low on his salary (although still in the ballpark.) This would give the Reds a decent center fielder (although Choo is definitely the better hitter) with some pop while leaving some room for other moves. As for the center field problem, I do like Walt’s solution better than my own.

New Spending Room: ~5.7 million

Move #3:
REDS TRADE- CF Drew Stubbs (-2.5 million), SP Bronson Arroyo (-11.5 million), SS Didi Gregorius, SP Tim Crabbe, and $7,000,000.
DIAMONDBACKS TRADE- Jason Kubel (+7.50 million) and Willie Bloomquist (+1.90 million)

This would give the Reds the power hitting left fielder they were looking for, as well as a productive backup infielder. Bronson Arroyo is still a decent pitcher, and for around 4.5 million, I don’t think the D’Backs would be too negative on that. Just consider what guys like Jeremy Guthrie got this offseason. The D’Backs had a need to trade an outfielder (before they traded Justin Upton, of course) and this would give them the SS prospect they were looking for (and eventually got in the Bauer trade.) This trade would work out well for both sides, I think.

New Spending Room: ~3.3 million.

Move #4:

REDS SIGN- 3B Scott Rolen (+1.5 million), and OF Juan Rivera (+800k)

New Spending Room: 1 million

This would leave the Reds with a roster looking something like this:

Lineup:
1. Brandon Phillips
2. Zack Cozart
3. Joey Votto
4. Giancarlo Stanton
5. Jason Kubel
6. Todd Frazier
7. Cody Ross
8. Ryan Hanigan

That 3-4-5 is absolutely deadly.

Starting Rotation:

1. Johnny Cueto
2. Mat Latos
3. Aroldis Chapman
4. Homer Bailey
5. Tony Cingrani

Bullpen:
CL- Jonathan Broxton
SU- Sean Marshall
RP- Jose Arredondo
RP- JJ Hoover
RP- Alfredo Simon
RP- Sam LeCure
RP- Steve Cishek

Bench:
IF- Willie Bloomquist
OF- Chris Heisey
IF- Scott Rolen
OF- Juan Rivera
C- Devin Mesoraco

That right there is a World Series winning team.

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